More Reviews

Book Reviews


The Fluoride Deception, by Christopher Bryson with forward by Theodore Colburn. Seven Stories Press, May 2004.
Fluoride: Drinking Ourselves to Death
The Greatest Fraud: Fluoridation, reviewed by: Dan Montgomery
Suppression Stories, reviewed by: Dan Montgomery
Scientific Knowledge in Controversy, reviewed by: Dan Montgomery
Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence, and Survival? -- A Scientific Detective Story, reviewed by: Richard G. Foulkes, B.A., M.D.
Root Canal Coverup, reviewed by: Dan Montgomery

Fluoride: Drinking Ourselves to Death. Barry Groves.

My new book, "Fluoride: drinking ourselves to death?" was published recently by Gill & Macmillan (Dublin). This is the first new fluoride book by a major publisher for many years. It is now on sale through bookstores in the UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and the internet booksellers. My 329 page book has 35 chapters covering a wide range of aspects of water fluoridation and other sources of fluorides, including the history of fluoridation, the lack of evidence of benefit in reduction of dental caries, evidence of harm (cancer, osteoporosis, hypothyroidism, etc), to legal and ethical issues and the British York Review. It is written to be easy to read by the layman, but is also fully referenced for the serious researcher.

"Must be regarded as essential reading . . . informative and thought- provoking." Dr Vyvyan Howard, MB. ChB. PhD. FRCPath. Head of the Department of Toxico-pathology, University of Liverpool.

"This book, I believe, will quickly become a standard reference. . ." Dr. Andrew Rynne, Irish Medical News, 3 October 2001.

Astonishing, reveals all the lies. Deconstructs the Fluoride fanatics fatuous argument by means of a damning leaked internal Memo, piece by delicious piece. Wonderful. Choose your dentist with this book and vote with your feet. I cannot praise the scholarship highly enough .

You will find details, reviews and quotes plus a graphic image of the cover, on Barry Groves' website at www.second-opinions.co.uk/fluoride_book.html or on the National Pure Water Association's website at www.npwa.freeserve.co.uk/fluoridebook.html.

I am donating half my royalties to the National Pure Water Association to help in the fight against fluoridation in Britain.

The Greatest Fraud: Fluoridation. Philip R.N. Sutton. Lorne, Australia 3232: Factual Book, Kurunda Pty., Ltd., 1994. 352 pp. $25.00, shipping included, (paper). Also available for $19.00, shipping included, from Maureen Jones, 1205 Sierra Ave., San Jose, CA 95126 while supplies last.

Reviewed by: Dan Montgomery
September 1996

For years, it has been generally assumed that fluoridation must have done at least some good because all those beautiful statistics couldn't be wrong. The statistics have been reviewed and the reviews have been reviewed and the reviewers continued to declare fluoridation to be effective. Scientists trust other scientists for the same reason that anybody would trust a scientist. They are supposed to know what they are doing. When one examines the documentation more carefully, then it can be seen that the reviewers have depended upon the opinions of others as if one were to depend upon the authority of science rather than the experimental facts. They have accepted the interpretation of selected statistics by a few people who thought they knew what they were doing.

Dr. Sutton pointed out long ago that the statistics were wrong. The Greatest Fraud: Fluoridation is the result of many years of thoughtful research. If fluoridation really doesn't work, then someone really ought to explain concisely why it doesn't work. Dr. Sutton's explanation is that fluoridation causes a delay in the onset of cavities. This delay in onset is caused by a delay in the eruption of permanent teeth. The reason the permanent teeth come in later is because fluoride has destroyed or damaged the resorbing osteocytes which are cells that resorb the roots of baby teeth to prepare the way for the permanent teeth. Dr. Sutton has also done us the favor of expounding the scientific details which he meticulously gathered in language that is plain enough for non-scientists to understand.

Philip Sutton was a Doctor of Dental Science. He was a Foundation Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons. He was elected to the Council of the Victorian branch of the Australian Dental Association. He also completed a course in statistics and later became chairman of the Biometric Society. In 1956, he was appointed a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. In 1957, the Dean of the University's Dental Science Faculty asked Dr. Sutton to examine the published data of the fluoridation experiments in the United States. His findings were published in a 1959 monograph, Fluoridation: Errors and Omissions in Experimental Trials. The pro-fluoridationists bitterly attacked it, but thirty years later had to admit he was right. In 1964, he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Dental Science at the University of Melbourne. Dr. Sutton passed away on March 12, 1995, not long after he completed the manuscript for The Greatest Fraud: Fluoridation.

Suppression Stories, Brian Martin, Wollongong, NSW Australia, Fund for Intellectual Dissent, 1997, $20

Suppression of environmental scientists is common "everywhere." Environmental law was a knew idea in the 1970's. Dr. Martin has many years of experience of helping people who are intellectual dissenters. The Australian government research organization, CSIRO, has been involved in several instances of suppression of environmental scientists. Scientists whose research threatens powerful vested interests such as agricultural pesticides, fluoridation. Large government funded research organizations like CSIRO have a monopoly on credibility. They fund such scientific research as they are willing to accept as science. New ideas, especially environmentalist ideas, have a rocky road to acceptance. Dr. Martin sees this as a problem in social and political structure in which well meaning but misguided science managers abuse their power. He gives advice on what you can do about it. Suppression Stories is online at: www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/documents/ss/. Brian Martin's home page is at: www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/.

Scientific Knowledge in Controversy: The Social Dynamics of the Fluoridation Debate, With Commentary by Edward Groth III, Brian Martin, Albany, NY, State University of New York Press, 1991, 266p.

Brian Martin studied the fluoridation controversy as a sociologist would. He has kept a strict neutrality as to which side is scientifically correct. He found that if scientific knowledge is to have power and influence, it must be perceived as credible. An important part of the struggle between the pro- and anti-fluoridation scientists is the quest for credibility. The scientific facts do not always speak for themselves as plainly as one would want. By controlling prestigious institutions of science, the pro-fluoridationists have maintained a positive perception of their credibility. We would like to believe that science is an impartial gathering of facts. Dr. Martin shows that science is also a social and political process.

Brian Martin is a lecturer in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Wollongong, Australia.

Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence, and Survival? - A Scientific Detective Story. Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers. New York, NY: Dutton, Penguin Books VSA, 1996.

Reviewed by: Richard G. Foulkes, B.A., M.D. Abbotsford, B.C., Canada
May 1996

This book, with its foreword by Vice President Al Gore, is billed on its dust jacket as "a scientific detective story". It is as good a read as the latest novel of this genre and nearly encyclopedic in its presentation of information, both factual and anecdotal, that is used to make its case. This is a positive attribute, as the book is dedicated to informing the public of the perils faced by themselves, their offspring and society in general.

The authors state that "[I]f this book contains a simple prescriptive message, it is this: we must move beyond the cancer paradigm. Until we do, it will be impossible to grapple with the challenges of hormone-disrupting chemicals and the threat they pose to the human prospect.... We need to bring new concepts to our consideration of toxic chemicals. The assumptions about toxicity and disease that have framed our thinking for the past three decades are inappropriate and act as obstacles to understanding a different kind of damage."

The book deals with the way in which hormone-disrupting chemicals target hormones, the chemical messengers that orchestrate many critical elements of development from sexual differentiation to brain organization. The book shows how hormone-disrupting chemicals, at relatively low levels of contamination that have no observable effects on adults, can have a devastating effect on the unborn.

The chemicals involved in this process include: the dioxins (especially 2,3,7,8, TCDD); DDT; PCB's; Lindane; furans; 2-4-D + 2,4,5,T ("Agent Orange"); Chlordane; DDE; pyrimidine carbinals; DES; and, Vinclozalin.

Many examples are presented of the effects on animals exposed to synthetic chemicals, especially the effects on mating and nesting behaviour and how these may reflect similar problems in humans. In particular, the book deals with observations of low sperm counts and increasing behaviour disorders in humans.

Several illustrations are included to enhance the text. One (page 72), shows the receptor effects of synthetic chemicals. The normal process in which a natural hormone locks into a receptor to produce a response is shown. This is contrasted to two abnormal situations: the first, is when an "estrogen like" chemical mimics the actions of the natural hormone to produce a response; the other is when an "anti-androgen" chemical blocks the receptor to inhibit response.

Another illustration (pages 104-105) shows how a particle of PCB-153 works its way around the world from its beginning in the Monsanto Chemical Works in Anniston Alabama.

This book gives a detailed account of the historical aspects of the DES (diethylstibesterol) tragedy and credits Frederick Vom Saal with demonstrating how the "paradoxical dose response curve", an inverted u for DES shows that. testing with high doses will miss some of the effects that would show up if (test) animals were given lower doses.

The authors use the DES story to illustrate important points. The rat studies carried out at Northwestern University that "cast a shadow" on the era of hormone therapy were largely ignored as being applicable to humans. The held belief that the placenta is an "impenetrable shield protecting the developing baby from harmful outside influences" was a myth that, in the words of these authors, was exploded by the Thalidomide tragedy which became public knowledge in 1962.

The DES experience "...toppled the notion that birth defects have to be immediate and visible to be important." The connection between maternal exposure to DES and the development of ovarian cancer and abnormal uterus and other afflictions in the female offspring leads the authors to use the term "hand-me-down poison"; that is, one that causes damage across the generations.

Many other points emerge. Even though large scale double-blind studies showed that DES does not prevent abortion, it was prescribed for this complication for a further twenty years! The FDA took no action, in spite of the evidence! The fear of litigation created a situation in which there was difficulty in obtaining medical records!

Of major scientific importance is that timing of administration was discovered to be more important than the dose in producing adverse effects.

In keeping with the question posed in its title, the book presents a picture of the social consequences of lowered fertility and intelligence. The authors feel that humans are gambling with their ability to reproduce over the long term. They state that " [W ]hat we fear most immediately is not extinction, but the insidious erosion of human potential".

They worry about "the power of hormone-disrupting chemicals to undermine and alter the characteristics that make us uniquely human -- our behaviour, intelligence and capacity for social organization."

They paint a dark picture of what it would mean if the average I. Q. were to drop just five points.

The problem that this reviewer has with this book is suggested in one paragraph : "... save for lead and mercury, educators, physicians, and others have been slow to recognize that the chemical environment may undermine educational efforts as well as the social environment." It is the limited definition of "chemical environment" that gives concern.

The book makes no mention of fluoride as a ubiquitous contaminant save for the mention of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) and their effect on the ionosphere.

Nevertheless, much of what is stated concerning the adverse effects of hormone-disrupting chemicals in the areas of infertility and brain dysfunction, can also be attributed to systemic fluoride.

The mechanism of interference may be different but the end results are similar. As a known enzyme inhibitor , fluoride interferes with the timely operation of such hormones as testosterone by impeding its creation rather than blocking its end organ of response. The association of fluoride with thyroid dysfunction has long been known.

Our Stolen Future", like Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" is focused on an "Administration Acceptable" cause of major environmental pollution and human afflictions -- manufactured chemicals.

There is no question that the issues raised in this book must be addressed. But, one has to ask: "is this a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from the embarrassing questions that must be asked regarding the fluoridation of drinking water over the past fifty years and continuing industrial fluoride pollution?

Would a similar book about fluoride be published and with Vice Presidential endorsation? If the U.S. Administration is gearing up to tackle the problems associated with the hormone-disrupting chemicals and is endorsing this book to assist it in its political decision-taking, why does it not, finally, include fluoridation which has been accepted, unjustifiably, as "Revealed Truth" by every Administration since that of Harry Truman?


Fluoride and the Placental Barrier

Kaj Roholm, in his study of fluoride intoxication in Danish Cryolite workers published in 19372 stated that he did not think that fluoride crossed the placental barrier. This opinion was based, primarily, on his failure to see fluorosis in the deciduous teeth of offspring. However, he was convinced that sufficient fluoride was passed through the milk of contaminated female workers to cause fluorosis in their children.

W. R. Cox, in 1953, published his personal account of multiple problems in Chinchillas that were attributed to high fluoride content of commercial animal feed3. In 1951, when the probable cause was first identified, the M.D. and the chemist involved from the University of Oregon Medical School did not hesitate to state that fluoride penetrated the placental barrier in animals.

Fluoride and Fertility

One of the major problems encountered in these valuable commercial animals concerned fertility. After changing to a diet low in fluoride there were increases in the number of offspring born; the number of litters; and, the numbers born alive. The adult mortality rate decreased from 14.6% in 1951 to 3.3% in 1952. A number of abnormalities associated with the fluoride contaminated feed were passed on through multiple generations.

It is of more than passing interest to note that although Cox found more than 1,400 studies that demonstrated adverse effects of fluoride in animals, both wild and domestic, there was a profound lack of knowledge and interest in these and in the implications for humans. This was especially true for possible soft tissue damage. It should come as no surprise that Cox, a layman, was shocked by the fact that those professionals exhibiting this lack of knowledge and disinterest were, at this time, spearheading the campaign to fluoridate public water supplies.

Freni, in a 1994 review4, demonstrated decreased fertility in most animals studied. High doses (i.e., 430 ppm dietary fluoride in rats) showed anestrus with cumulative generational effects. This phenomenon, according to Freni's research , was first noted in 1933and confirmed in 1984.

His paper presents multiple examples that lead him to state, without equivocation, that fluoride easily crosses the placenta.

Freni participated in the 1991 Public Health Service review of the toxicity of fluoride and in the N.T.P. study that emphasized the "cancer paradigm" discussed in Our Stolen Future. He was concerned about the implications of reproductive problems that were encountered. As a result, in 1991, he searched for reproductive studies that involved humans; but, he found none. It may come as a surprise to recognize that, after 46 years of fluoridation of drinking water, no study had taken place on the effect of fluoride on the developing fetus!

Freni , in a complicated study, compared the total, fertility rate (TFR) in counties whose water supplies had at least 3 ppm fluoride. He found a negative TFR/fluoride association that fitted in with the toxicity data on animals.

Freni presented several theories to account for the lowered TFR. One, that fluoride lowers protein synthesis in osteoblasts; the other, that fluoride inhibits the adenylyl cyclase system in human spermatozoa.

Narayana and Chinoy referred in a 1994 paper5 to "the wide prevalence of infertility in the fluorosis-afflicted human population in India and other parts of the globe".

In their study, mature rats were treated with sodium fluoride (10mg/kg daily for 50 days). They found that fluoride interferes with androgenesis and adversely impaired the target organ structures. They suggested that the effect of fluoride may be on receptor sites. That is, fluoride may alter the concentration or configuration of the receptor, thereby inhibiting the action of testosterone. The similarity of this action to that of the hormone-disrupting chemicals, described in Our Stolen Future, is obvious.

Fluoride and the Brain

The 1991 review, Fluoride Benefits and Risks published by the U.S.P.H.S.6 states that there is "relative impermability of the blood-brain barrier to fluoride." No reference was made to fluoride effects on the brain.

In their 1978 book, Fluoridation, the Great Dilemma, Waldbott, Burgstahler and McKinney7 describe the findings of Soviet physicians that 79% of patients with occupational fluorosis demonstrate dysfunction of subcortical axial non-specific structures of the brain.

Recent studies from China8,9, of the relationship between residence in endemic fluorosis areas in that country and I.Q., contain references and discussions that indicate that this has been reported upon since 1989. Chinese studies indicate that the influence of a high fluoride environment on intelligence may occur early in development such as during the stages of embryonic life or infancy when differentiation and growth are more rapid. Ultramicroscopic study of embryonic brain tissue obtained from termination of pregnancy operations in endemic fluorosis areas showed "differentiation of brain nerve cells were poor, and brain development was delayed"8.

The studies of Li et al.8 (soot fluorosis) and Zhao et al.9 (water supply fluorosis) compare the I.Q. status of children living in high fluoride areas to those in low fluoride areas. A graph constructed from Li's data shows a flattening, in the high fluoride population, of the normal "Bell Curve" distribution of I.Q.. The data of both the Li and Zhao studies show a shift of the curve toward the low I.Q. (<70 I.Q.) end in the high fluoride group. Both studies demonstrate that I.Q. is lower in all age groups in the high fluoride areas compared to those in the low fluoride areas. This finding suggests neurological damage in early development; that is, in utero. (see Appendix)

Other causes of lowered I.Q. appear to have been ruled out. These include: iodine deficiency; other congenital and acquired diseases; and, cultural and ethnic differences. Dietary differences, which are known to play an important role in dental and skeletal fluorosis were not specifically accounted for although the authors mention ''similar circumstances of material life".

These studies present evidence that, as is the case with infertility, brain dysfunction is prevalent in endemic fluorosis areas in countries outside of those in which deliberate fluoridation of drinking water is practiced. When the rising prevalence of dental fluorosis and the high dietary intakes of fluoride in fluoridated areas are taken into consideration, it may be said that large areas of endemic fluorosis have now been created in Canada, the U.S. and other fluoridated countries pursuant to the policies of their respective Administrations. How much responsibility can be attributed to fluoride for the fertility and behavioural problems addressed by the authors of Our Stolen Future?

Are the fluoridated countries seriously looking for possible associations? It has been pointed to previously that research into the association between fluoride and human reproductive problems was not undertaken until 1991, 46 years after the start of fluoridation. What is the status with regard to possible links with the signs and symptoms of brain dysfunction?

In 1995, the 50th Anniversary of fluoridation in the U.S. and Canada, Mullenix, Denbesten et al. published a study of the neurotoxicity of sodium fluoride in rats10. The authors state: "[T]his is the first laboratory study to demonstrate that CNS functional output is vulnerable to fluoride, that the effects on behaviour depend on the age at exposure and that fluoride accumulates in brain tissue."

The authors state further that "[E]xperience with other developmental neurotoxins prompts expectations that changes in behavioural function will be comparable across species, especially humans and rats".

This study demonstrated generic behavioural pattern disruption that the authors point to as indicative of a potential for motor dysfunction, I.Q. deficits and learning disabilities in humans.

The authors point out that the plasma levels in their rat model (0.059 to 0.640 ppm fluoride) are similar to those reported in humans exposed to high levels of fluoride.

These authors refer to early Chinese studies in their paper and point out that high levels of fluoride in drinking water (i.e., 3 to 11 ppm ) affect the nervous system directly without first causing physical deformations from skeletal fluorosis. This latter is currently used as the ultimate indicator of intoxication in discussions by proponents of fluoridation.

"Still unexplained", the authors continue, "is the possibility that fluoride exposure is linked to subtle brain dysfunction."

The characteristics of the latter and the implications for society are well described in Our Stolen Future even though the causative agents named are the hormone-disrupting chemicals.

Fluoride and The Paradoxical Effect

Our Stolen Future emphasizes the importance of the "paradoxical effect" in establishing the biological effects of toxins and, more particularly, the hormone-disrupting artificial chemicals. The authors credit Frederick Vom Saal's investigations, which began in 1976, with the demonstration of a "U-shaped" response curve for DES . This illustrates the paradoxical response"; that is, the response increases for a time and then diminishes with even higher doses.

This phenomenon in which a high dose may paradoxically cause less damage than a lower dose was described in a 1964 article by Schatz, Schalscha and Schatz 11. These authors show that paradoxical effects are not isolated phenomena but are broadly operative and of widespread importance in the biochemistry and physiology of many living systems under many different conditions.

Schatz et al. point to the different terms that investigators have used when they encountered this phenomenon. They describe the way in which conditioning leads investigators to think only in linear dose relationships thereby leading them to attribute deviations to experimental error or experimental variability.

The paper presents examples to illustrate that paradoxical effects are real, not artifacts. The authors state that "[P]aradoxical effects have been produced by radiation, temperature, mutagenic and carcinogenic chemicals, fluoride, steroid hormones, dextran, detergents, trace metals, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, germicides, antibiotics, drugs and a host of other agents"

It is noteworthy that fluoride is included in the list of chemicals that may produce a paradoxical effect. They show, as an example, the curve of inhibition of human prostatic acid phosphatase. "[A]s the fluoride concentration is increased over a thousand fold range, the extent of inhibition rises, attains a maximum that may approach 100% and subsequently falls".

In a recent paper12, Schatz compared low 3evel fluoridation with low level radiation: "[T]he occurrence of paradoxical effects with low level fluoridation and low level radiation shows that there is no threshold level below which fluoride and radiation are harmless".

Recognition of the importance of the paradoxical effect and the way in which research may be blinded by continued pursuit of the "linear dose relationship" and the "cancer paradigm" is essential if we are to determine the nature of all the elements that conspire to steal our future.


The similarities between the DES story, that is well told in Our Stolen Future, and the story of the fluoridation of drinking water is striking. In both, numerous animal studies have been declared to be irrelevant. Both DES and fluoridation of water supplies have been shown to be without effect for the purposes claimed - the prevention of abortion in the case of DES and of tooth decay in the case of fluoridation. DES continued to be prescribed for several decades after it had been discredited; fluoridation is being pushed now as hard as ever with the full support of the Administration, the Public Health Service and professional organizations representing Dentistry and Medicine, especially Pediatrics.

The failure of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to act on DES is described in Our Stolen Future. This failure to act is repeated in the case of the human consumption of fluoride.

Is the future being stolen? Yes. There are many medical problems that can be attributed to the hormone-disrupting chemicals and other substances, including fluoride. Lowered fertility and brain dysfunction are two of these for which there is mounting evidence.

The message is clear. Action is required immediately, However, such action must be inclusive -- not selective as suggested in Our Stolen Future.


  1. Colborn, T., Dumanoski, D., Myers, J.P., Our Stolen Future, Dutton, Penguin Books V.S.A., New York, N.Y., 1996
  2. Roholm, K., Fluorine Intoxication - A Clinical-Hygienic Study, H.K. Lewis, London, 1937.
  3. Cox, W.R., Hello Test Animals ... Chinchillas or You and Your Grandchildren, The Olsen Publishing Co., Milwaukie, Wisc., 1953.
  4. Freni, S.C., Exposure to High Fluoride Concentrations in Drinking Water is Associated With Decreased Birth Rates, Journal Toxicol and Environ. Health; 42; 109-121; 1994.
  5. Narayana, M.V., Chinoy, N.J., Effect of fluoride on Rat Testicular Steroidogenesis, Fluoride, 27; 1; 7-12, 1994.
  6. Dept of Health and Human Services, USPHS, Fluoride Benefits and Risks February 1991.
  7. Waldbott, G.L., Burgstahler , A.W., McKinney, H.L., Fluoridation the Great Dilemma, Coronado Press, Lawrence, Kansas, 1978.
  8. Li, X.S., Zhi, J.L., Gao, R.O., Effect of Fluoride Exposure on Intelligence of Children, Fluoride 28; 4; 189-192; 1995.
  9. Zhao, I.B. Liang, G.H., Zhang, D., Wu, X., Effect of a High Fluoride Water Supply on Children's Intelligence, 1995 "Pending Publication"
  10. Mullenix, P.J., Denbesten, P.K., Schunior, A., Kernan, W.J., Neurotoxicity of Sodium Fluoride in Rats, Neurotoxicology and Teratology 17; 2; 169-177; 1995.
  11. Schatz, A., Schalscha, E.B., Schatz, V., Soil Organic Matter as a Natural Chelating Material, Part 2, The Occurrence and Importance of Paradoxical Concentration Effects in Biological Systems, Compost Science 5; 22-30; Spring 1964
  12. Schatz, A., Low Level Fluoridation and Low Level Radiation - Two case Histories of Misconduct of Science, Published by A. Schatz, PhD, Philadelphia, PA, 1996.

[Appendix unavailable]

Root Canal Coverup. George E. Meinig, D.D.S. Ojai, CA: Bion Publishing, 1994. 220 pp. $19.95 (paper).

Dr. Meinig is a founding member of the American Association of Endodontics. He rediscovered some research of the late Weston Price which had been published in 1923. Price published a compilation of 25 years of dental research in two volumes totaling 1174 pages. Dr. Price had a team of 60 scientists and worked under the auspices of the American Dental Association. A meticulous researcher, Dr. Price is better known for his Nutrition and Physical Generation, which summarized his world wide travels to primitive cultures who lived on native foods in his quest for a way to prevent tooth decay.

Price found that bacteria trapped in root filled teeth produce toxins which can cause degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, in other parts of the body and inferred that people with weak immune systems are more susceptible to this kind of causation of degenerative diseases. The idea that bacteria in one part of the body causes diseases in another part of the body is known as the focal infection theory. In Price's time, the focal infection theory was hotly debated, but today it is accepted.

Dr. Meinig points out that the prevention of tooth decay is not so simple a task as to be sure one gets enough fluoride each day:

"The advent of the use of fluorine in water supplies, toothpastes, etc., has, to a great extent, led the public to feel that nutritional factors have been over-emphasized and are of little importance. A quick summary of the chemistry involved with the presence of fluorine in teeth will show fluorine use isn't all it is cracked up to be.

"In spite of its very hard, dense composition, enamel is a porous structure which can absorb a wide variety of substances present in the saliva. These substances can then travel inside the substance of teeth by means of the fluid flow which takes place in the dentin tubules. It is this fluid flow, which also carries nutrients, that is responsible for keeping teeth alive and healthy. A low amount of calcium in the blood and saliva no doubt plays a role in the dentin tubules and therefore in the susceptibility of teeth to decay.

"The enamel of teeth is composed mostly of calcium carbonate. When a person is subjected to the element fluorine, either from dentifrices or from application directly to the teeth by a dentist or hygienist, it is absorbed directly into the enamel and becomes a part of it.

"Fluorine present in water supplies ends up being incorporated into the blood and the saliva. Its presence in the saliva bathes the teeth continually, and fluorine in blood is carried into the inside of teeth by blood vessels that enter at the tip of the roots. From there it is absorbed into the dentin tubules and transported directly into the enamel. Once in the enamel, fluorine combines with the tooth's calcium to form calcium fluoride.

"You have been led to believe that fluorine makes teeth harder. The fact is, it actually makes teeth softer. Any dentist who has treated numbers of people who have grown up in areas where the natural water supply is high in fluorine will testify that not only do these people's teeth develop fluorosis, an ugly brownish gray stain throughout their enamel, but when these teeth are drilled they are obviously much softer than the teeth of most of the population. The American Dental Association admits that when fluorine is added to the water supply at the recommended dose of one part per million, ten percent of those using it have some degree of fluorosis.

"The reason teeth become softer is because calcium fluoride is not nearly so hard a structure as calcium carbonate. You would think teeth treated with fluorine would decay much more readily since they are softer. Calcium fluoride, however, is less soluble to attacks by acids than calcium carbonate, so acids created by the bacteria in the plaque are not so successful in etching the enamel, and the amount of decay is reduced.

"There is as feeling fluorine-treated teeth give protection against caries for a lifetime. Many studies have shown this protection disappears toward the end of the teenage years.

"Because the use of fluorine cuts down the need for dental treatment, it encourages people to believe it's okay to eat sweets and junk food."

Dr. Meinig concludes that tooth decay is a systemic problem. The foods we eat influence the acid-base balance and the mineral balances of the body. These in turn largely determine dental health.